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Joe Webb

Joe Webb Founder / Trainer

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How Fruity is Your CRM?


To this day, a guiding principle of DealerKnows Consulting is that a well-utilized CRM is the most valuable piece of technology in a dealership.  Some dealers bite off more than they can chew, while many others simply don’t want to consume it as much as they should, regardless of how healthy it is for them.

The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools of today serve countless needs, but moreover, must serve countless masters.  While every single employee in your dealership should be well-versed and actively using the chosen CRM, every single different position at your store should be using it differently.  Some positions require using it to the Nth degree, while others can use it in a much more basic role.  But it must be used. 

A good CRM should be like a selection of fruits.  Here are the ways a CRM should be devoured by your team based on their role:

Internet Director/eCommerce Director: 
For them, the CRM must be like an Edible Arrangement.  Edible Arrangements are massively constructed bouquets of fruit baskets, whittled into extraordinary shapes.  They must understand it three dimensionally.  It must be able to be viewed in pieces, understood, crafted, and dined on as if it were art.

Dealership Owner/General Manager:  For an owner or GM, the store’s CRM should be a Fruit Cup.  They are looking at macro-level information and will likely not need the more granular reporting approach.  They can fill up easily on CRM and don’t need a lot of it to make decisions.  After all, it is the Internet Director likely sending them over small pieces of fruits to look at anyway.

Sales Managers:  A great Sales Manager should be looking at a CRM as if it were a fruit salad.  They need to be able to have an assortment of reports, be able to dive into all the pretty colors, sample many different pieces, and enjoy a menagerie of flavors.  A great sales manager can pick apart the CRM, find the most important pieces, and use them to grow the sales numbers.


For the average Salesperson, a CRM should be no more than a slice of watermelon.  Many don’t want to use it, but it needs to be simple, streamlined, and one flavor.  They must know how to go in, execute their basic tasks, leaving notes behind, and eating it the same way consistently over and over and over.  They don’t need to know all the inner-workings of multiple fruit baskets.  They just need to be taught the right way to eat it every time.  Sure, there will be some things they don’t like or understand, but they will just have to learn to spit out the seeds and keep eating, because it is their job and we don’t ask enough of salespeople as is.

Now, while that is the way a CRM should be set up for a dealership by role, how fruity you allow your CRM to become for each person can dictate true success.  If you want to use your Customer Relationship Management tool to its fullest:

Make sure your Internet Director is savvy enough where they look at their edible arrangement and it is as simple to them as a piece of fruit. 

Get the ownership and General Manager to look at it like a fruit salad so they are as knowledgeable on the granular data to make high level decisions from a self-educated stance rather than taking the words from others.

Have your Salespeople use it as a fruit cup.  For success, your salespeople should begin to understand some of the inner-workings of the CRM so that they can use it proactively as a means to engage previous shoppers and retain customers from sold’s past. (Yes, I know that sounds weird, but I’m in a Cormac McCarthy mood all of a sudden).

Require your Sales Managers to still use it like a fruit salad.  That shouldn’t change.  If your sales managers aren’t embracing the CRM themselves, the floor will have no buy-in and technology-assisted selling is out the window.  Your dealership will not progress without consistent utilization from the management team.  Sales Managers are the driving force behind all successfully embraced CRMs.

So make sure that your team is partaking of the delicious fruit known as CRM.  It is crisp, enjoyable, and insanely good for you.


Joe Webb
Thanks, Jim!
George Nenni
Well done Joe, great example. I worry too many at store avoid CRM, treating it more like Fruitcake (during the Holidays!).
Joe Webb
And another great analogy, George! I just got one-upped :)
Ron Henson
Great stuff Joe!
Joe Webb
Thank you, Ron.

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